WARNING: THIS ARTICLE INCLUDES GRAPHIC IMAGES SOME READERS MAY FIND DISTURBING
Not many could fathom just how traumatic it would’ve been for a woman who had 64 percent of her body severely burned in a malicious attack. But, a recently published memoir written by a burn survivor in Australia reveals just how resilient she has been at a time when her “dreams were ripped away.” We can also see her incredible recovery after the painful five-and-a-half-year journey.
Dana Vulin, a 30-year-old woman from Perth, was attacked in February 2012 by Natalie Dimitrovska, who was jealous of Dana speaking to her estranged husband while at a party. Dimitrovska broke into Vulin’s home and doused her with methylated spirits before setting her on fire. Dimitrovska even laughed at Vulin when she screamed in pain.
The attack left Vulin with third-degree burns covering 64 percent of her body and face, which required her to undergo countless reconstructive surgeries. “Within seconds, Dana’s former life, her physical functioning, her independence, her goals and dreams were ripped away,” Vulin described on her website.
When she was to take off her compression mask after having it on for over two years to reveal her new face, she had to overcome another ordeal—cervical cancer.
“I never chose to be burned alive, but I did choose to fight for my family, my friends, and my life. I’m not just alive, I’m living!” she told LittleThings.
Fortunately, her cancer vanished after she underwent an operation to remove an abnormal cell.
Five years after the attack, Vulin published a book titled “Worth Fighting For,” which details her recovery journey.
In the book, she recalled how she “came back from death’s door slowly,” following a days-long coma.
She wrote: “While I slept, I dreamt. Snatches of memory, fantasy, nightmare.
“These dreams faded in and out, but Svetlana [Vulin’s sister] was in some of them.
“Sometimes it was just the impression of her, a feeling, maybe her voice or a snatch of song that reached me in the coma.”
Vulin finally woke up when her sister was singing “Step by Step” by Whitney Houston.
“No one thought it was physically possible [to recover so much],” she told MailOnline.
“I feel like I’ve won gold at the Olympics. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here—it’s been a five-and-a-half-year journey,” she said.
“It’s ironic I woke up to that Whitney Houston song. Because my journey has been bit by bit and step by step.”